Communication

Boundaries and why they are essential for your marriage

2020-03-13T15:27:14+00:00Communication, Safety|

I didn’t realize before I became a marriage counselor how many couples don’t have boundaries. Don’t get me wrong; everyone has boundaries. But in marriage, we tend to overlook their importance. We think our spouse is supposed to know our needs and wants already, or we feel having boundaries creates unhealthy walls in our marriage. On the contrary, all healthy relationships have boundaries. And it is our ability to communicate what those boundaries are — and our spouse’s ability to respect them — that keep us from allowing unhealthy feelings or actions into our relationships. Boundaries keep the good in and the bad out This is the first in a [...]

Work Talk vs. Heart Talk: Avoiding Miscommunication In Your Marriage

2020-02-20T02:07:06+00:00Communication, Heart|

A husband and his wife are sitting on the couch talking about their day when the wife says, “You wouldn’t believe what my boss did to me today!” She continues explaining her horrible experience, and, wanting to help, he rattles off solution after solution. He thinks that he’s hubby of the year right now, but to his surprise, she gets more upset. “You don’t get it,” she says. “Quit trying to fix things!” Sound familiar? This is a classic case of work talk vs. heart talk. Work talk and heart talk are the two languages we as couples speak. Each is important to ensure great communication in a marriage, but [...]

The First Hidden Secret of Great Communication

2019-04-17T19:52:03+00:00Attitude, Communication|

Last time we made these discoveries regarding couples engaging in great communication: (here are the Cliff Notes) Effective communication requires skills developed with practice and perfected through trial and error! Communication is real when there is win-win, and teamwork Effective communication is when we listen to and speak with the heart. We must allow the feelings of our spouse to “touch” us. Creating a sense of safety and openness builds trust in the relationship. The goal is to fully understand one another at the emotional level! Beginning communication with problem solving can be a waste of time We must learn to differentiate between issues and events   But there are [...]

The Hidden Secrets of Great Communication

2019-04-13T21:23:23+00:00Communication, Emotion|

Effective communication requires skills that are developed through practice, and that are perfected through trial and error!   Most couples who are having difficulties in their relationship feel their communication is the problem. But verbal communication is complex. Misunderstandings are common and normal. We all need patience and practice to become great communicators. Real communication happens when there is winning, and teamwork. Winning is finding and implementing solutions that both people can feel good about! This takes an open mind, good attitudes toward each other and plenty of sacrifice and compromise.  Do you consider you and your spouse a “team”?  If so, then day-to-day life is teamwork! Teamwork means there [...]

Communication: It’s the WORDS & the HOW

2019-04-03T14:25:18+00:00Attitude, Communication|

If you are like most couples, when you are having difficulties you say “We just aren’t communicating. Guess what? That is almost true. It is not that you’re not communicating. It is that the words you use toward each other, or don’t use, and how you use them that is the real culprit.   Susan and I recently led a pre-marital class at our church. One week we had been asked to discuss communication. And it ends up people really are interested and feel that it is a real problem. But what ended up as the focus of discussion in the class was not about the same old techniques, like [...]

How a Couple in Love gets Trapped in the Cycle of Negative Emotions

2019-09-25T20:42:13+00:00Communication|

What’s your framework for your overall feelings, thoughts, and outlook for your spouse? Do you have an underlying pattern that you attribute to them most often? Is it mostly positive, or is it generally negative?   We cannot “get into” other people’s minds, and we never completely know or understand them. Or what their outlook is. And so, we watch them from the outside. We listen, observe their actions and attitudes, and remember certain things about them. We develop patterns and conclusions and file away how we see them so that we get a psychological understanding of them. It’s a combination of feelings and thoughts about what that person thinks, [...]

Astonishing Power and Benefits of a Safe Marriage

2019-07-25T00:42:38+00:00Communication, Safety|

A safe relationship. You might not know exactly what I mean by safety, but I bet you know what an unsafe relationship feels like. Do you have THAT person in your mind? The person that makes you feel scared, closed off, or even unimportant? Is that unsafe person your spouse? If so, ok, we have work to do. Hang in there. If that unsafe person is not your spouse, hang in too. There is a huge opportunity to learn and practice some skills that will help other relationships in your life AND protect your marriage. If you are going to thrive, your marriage must remain as a safe environment. What [...]

News to Me: Respect is More Important Than Communication

2018-09-14T22:00:48+00:00Communication|

We all have moments of disagreement, conflict, misunderstanding and lack of communication.  If you can dig down and get to the underlying reason for disagreement or conflict many times, it’s about how we didn’t communicate well enough. Our spouse or significant other didn’t really understand and hear what we were trying to tell them. Miscommunication and misunderstanding are often blamed when a couple gets divorced, separated, or even just starts to head down the path to a disconnected and less than satisfying relationship. However, in a recent study of 1500 people who have been happily married for more than 20 years, they cited mutual RESPECT as the reason for their [...]

Practical and Unparalleled Steps on How to Care for Your Spouse

2018-08-31T15:15:39+00:00Care, Communication|

Emotional disconnection or disengagement in relationships happens when there is an lack of positive actions, attitudes and affection toward the partners. In other words, caring is not there. It’s this gradual feeling of growing apart. A loss of the sense of closeness between the couple. And one or both don’t feel loved and appreciated. This sense of not feeling cared for by your spouse is usually a drift that happens when couples are unresponsive or emotionally unavailable to one another. They don’t seem, or act, like close friends and don’t make many moves toward their partner to “soothe” them when things are difficult. So, how do I take practical actions [...]

How to Trim Tech for Terrific Couple Connection

2019-11-10T22:21:33+00:00Communication, Connection|

I was recently working on a blog for Mike.  We were finding a picture to portray couples who connect and communicate well with each other. So I searched our photo software using “couple connection.” Wow, that was an eye-opener. 90% of the pictures that came back were couples using electronics together. It seems, that at least in the eyes of photographers or according to the ones who define the photo’s “search words” that “connected” couples are connected by technology. While that is true in a technical sense, we know that people do not find true relational connection by using their phone or iPad.  Either while at the dinner table or [...]

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